Celebrating a) recovering me from man-over-board drill, and b) completing our circumnavigation
Worryingly, we developed an electrical malfunction, the echo-sounder and autopilot intermittently stopped working, we can manage without the autopilot, but the echo-sounder is vital. We berthed at Darthaven Marina on the Kingswear side of the river, same as last year, we could use our dinghy to cross to and from Dartmouth, and sought out an electrical engineer to try to resolve our problem.
The five of us ate supper aboard and invited a neighbouring yachtsman to join us; Alex was attempting a solo circumnavigation of Britain for charity, CLIC Sergeant, children's cancer charity in memory of a young girl who died of Hodgkins Lymphoma recently. We swapped stories, his much more scary than ours, being single-handed, but he was nearly round, he started and would finish in Cardiff, just the Lizard and Lands End to go and the up the Bristol Channel, good luck Alex.
Will and Sam left us on Wednesday morning, but not before the morning run and swim, a shorter run but steeper hill, which reduced Will and I to a walk, Owen and Sam, displaying some healthy competition sprinted up, Chris stayed aboard, fixated on resolving the electrics.
He had some luck and the electricians were able to, not resolve it entirely, but,by disabling the autopilot, got the echo-sounder to work, it means no cheating on some of those long passages but at least we can be certain of how much water we have below the keel.
Chores and repairs took priority once our guests had departed, laundry, cleaning and replenishing supplies. Owen and I took the dinghy over to Dartmouth, had a wander and reminisced about his time spent here as a cadet officer, it was my fourth visit to Dartmouth in just over a year, and it was lovely to be back.
Having bought all the usual provisions, we popped into the fish-mongers, we all love fresh fish and the quality and choice of locally sourced fish is, unsurprisingly, excellent. He had some medium sized dressed crabs for £6.50 or some massive naked beauties for £4, we chose the latter, feeling sure that there would be tools aboard to deal with it, which there were; we had delicious crab sandwiches for lunch, with only the occasional tiny bit of shell.
Off to Dittisham next, up the river, an idyllic village where the ferry crosses to Greenway, once the holiday home to Agatha Christie and now run by the National Trust. We picked up a mooring and rowed ashore to the Ferry Boat Inn for supper. A quirky old pub, where last year Chris was introduced to a particularly eye-watering drink called 'a suitcase', which involves necking a shot of tequila, followed swiftly by a shot of lime juice!
Dittisham, pronounced Ditsum
On Thursday we didn't need to leave the Dart for our sail to Exeter until about 1.30pm, so, as had become the recent habit, we ran and swam before breakfast. The route was one we had walked last year, and is particularly stunning. The four mile route took us up above Greenway, where the views down over Dartmouth more than reward the effort, we continued along the path to the Upper Ferry, which took us into town where we caught another ferry back to the boat at Dittisham, by which time we were really hungry!
View down the Dart towards Dartmouth from Maypool......wow!